Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Archive for October, 2011

We’re Ready for the Trick or Treaters

Posted by supermom on October 31, 2011

I wasn’t going to do Halloween this year.   I didn’t last year.

Well, except for giving out candy.   It’s always fun to see the little ones and not so little ones dressed up carrying their trick or treat bags.

But this year, like last, I didn’t feel like decorating the house.  It’s not as much fun with our son off at college and not home to help put up the decorations and to carve pumpkins with.

When our girls left home to attend university six years ago, it was a huge adjustment for sure.  But our daily routine remained much the same since we still had our son in school.   Then our son went off to college last fall and there just didn’t seem to be much point in decorating for Halloween.

Then this morning when I woke up, I realized I hadn’t bought the Halloween candy, so on the way back from dropping our car off for an oil change, we stopped to pick up the candy.

Once back home, I got to thinking that it wouldn’t hurt put out the pumpkins that we use to line the driveway.

There are no street lights in our end of the subdivision so I put candles inside the pumpkins to light the way to the front door.

And since we had the box of Halloween decorations down…

It didn’t take long for Dave to hang the crashing witch.

Or to stretch the lights over the holly bushes.

Window clings are quick and easy to put up.

The candy is ready in bowls by the door.

Bring on the trick or treaters!

Posted in Empty Nesting | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Christmas on a Budget – One Hour Gifts to Sew

Posted by supermom on October 25, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Christmas on a Budget – One Hour Gifts to Sew



Posted in Christmas on a Budget Series, Gift Ideas, Sew easy projects, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

October FNSI Results – Two Table Runners

Posted by supermom on October 22, 2011

I call this my version of the 10-minute table runner.

First, because I defy anyone to cut panels from two different fabrics, pin and sew those panels together, press the seams either open or to one side, turn right side out and press again; centering the narrower fabric over the wider fabric, pin and sew the ends, press that seam open, turn the end to form the point and then either sew that in place or sew on a button at each end to keep the point in place.  And do it all in 10 minutes.

Even if you subtract the time it takes to cut the fabric… it would still take longer than 10 minutes.  My version takes approximately one hour from the time I start sewing until the final pressing.

The second reason I call this my version is that most instructions for the 10-minute table runner say to cut the fabric panels width of fabric which results in a finished length of at most 42 inches depending on the width of fabric used. (52 inches if you can find 54-55 inch wide fabric in the print of your choice.)   My dining table is 60 inches without the leaf in place.  With the leaf in place it is 72 inches.  I like my table runners to at least cover the full length of the table but my preference is to have a bit hanging over on each end.

One solution would be to cut 2 panels of each fabric, sew them together and then cut them to the length wanted.  But then you have the added steps of matching the print and sewing them together and then making sure those seams match when you sew the panels together.

What I do instead, is buy two lengths of coordinating fabric a bit longer than I want my table runner to be and then measure and cut the fabric panels down the length of the fabric.  I buy a little more fabric than I need to allow for wonky cutting at the fabric store and for shrinkage when I pre-wash the fabric.

When I’m cutting, I cut one large panel and one small panel from each fabric.  This way, I end up with two coordinating table runners but with the feature fabric reversed.

Pictured below are the 2 one hour table runners (that’s one hour each) I made last night during Friday Night Sew In.

They're almost as pretty with the backs facing up.

Dave and I took pictures as I went along, so I hope to have a tutorial ready to post along with this month’s Christmas On A Budget post on the 25th.

Now, I’m off to check out what projects the other Friday Night Sew In participants worked on.


This post has been added to Sew Darn Crafty… Week 37 over at Sew Many Ways.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Sewing | Tagged: , , , , | 25 Comments »

Plans for October’s Friday Night Sew In

Posted by supermom on October 21, 2011

Tonight is Friday Night Sew In; the monthly virtual sewing bee co-hosted by Heidi from Handmade by Heidi and Bobbi over at Crafty Vegas Mom.

For last month’s sew in I had planned to work on my version of the 10 minute table runner but by the time I got done figuring out how to sew this little purse onto it’s frame, I’d had enough sewing for that particular night.

I’ve been super busy working on secret 50th Wedding Anniversary, Christmas and birthday gifts that can’t be shown on my blog until after the gifting takes place.

Since a FNSI where I couldn’t share pictures of what I worked on wouldn’t be as much fun, I’m taking a break tonight from gift making and will instead work on getting a couple of those table runners finished using these fabrics that I showed you in September.

If you haven’t signed up for this month’s Friday Night Sew In, you can still do so.   Bobbi is hosting the sign-ups on her blog this time round and has mentioned that she will be giving away a really cool prize to a lucky FNSI participant.

I always enjoy taking time on Saturday and Sunday to visit as many of the FNSI blogs as I can.  I hope I’ll be visiting yours.

Posted in Friday Night Sew In, Sewing | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Dehydrating Pears (or Apples)

Posted by supermom on October 18, 2011

My blog Super Mom – No Cape and all its content has moved to

For the contents of this particular post click on the link below:

Dehydrating Pears (or Apples)



Posted in Budget Savers, Canning and Preserving | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Beef Stew With Dumplings

Posted by supermom on October 15, 2011

There is nothing better in the fall and winter than to come into the house and be welcomed by the smell of a hearty soup or stew cooking in the slow cooker.

It’s been a cool and rainy week here and so I decided it was time to make one of our favourite slow cooker recipes.

Beef Stew With Dumplings

Brown l lb of stewing meat until all sides are nicely browned.

Depending on the size of your frying pan, you may need to brown half the meat and then do the second half; which is what I had to do.

While meat is browning, coarsely chop ½ of a medium onion and 2 large stalks of celery.   Add to slow cooker.

Peel 2 to 3 large potatoes and 3 to 4 large carrots.  Cut into bite sized pieces and add them to the slow cooker.

Go through your freezer and find all the little packages of leftover frozen vegetables.

Empty those into the slow cooker too.

Transfer browned meat from frying pan to slow cooker.

Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of water.

Pour broth into the slow cooker.

Next add one pint of canned tomatoes and one pint of beef stock plus one pint of water.

This final ingredient is optional.  I had an abundance of okra from our CSA last summer and so I dehydrated most of it to use in soups and stews.  The flavour it adds is subtle but we like it.  Add 2 tbsp of dried okra.

Stir in heaping teaspoon of minced garlic and ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.

Cover with lid and cook on low for 8 to 10 hrs.

30 to 40 minutes before you want to serve the stew, turn the slow cooker to high.  After fifteen to twenty minutes on high, add the dumplings.

Recipe for Dumplings

1 c all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp dried parsley

½ tsp salt

1 beaten egg

¼ c milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In a measuring cup beat together milk, egg and oil.  Stir into the flour mixture.  You’ll end up with a very thick batter that looks like this:

Drop the batter by the spoonful directly on top of the bubbly stew.

Replace cover on slow cooker and allow the dumplings to cook for 20 minutes until they are puffed up like this:

Remove dumplings and serve with a large bowl of that delicious beef stew.

I cut one of the dumplings open and took a picture so that you could see how tender and fluffy the dumplings are inside.

Posted in Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Pay It Forward Gift Received and My Turn to PIF

Posted by supermom on October 13, 2011

Back in May of this year, Jane from Sew Create It posted about the Pay It Forward gift she had received and then asked for three bloggers who would be willing to sign up to continue the Pay It Forward fun.

I was lucky enough to be visiting Jane’s blog shortly after she posted and opted to play along by being the first to comment.

Jane is a fellow Canadian who lives in England with her husband and two daughters.  We Canadians really do scatter ourselves across the globe, don’t we?

You really should check out her blog not just for the quilts she makes but for her lovely photography, as well.

My Pay It Forward gift(s) from Jane arrived in the mail yesterday.

It was so exciting to receive a parcel from “across the pond” as the Brits used to say when we were posted to CFB Suffield in southern Alberta.

And I just had to take a picture of the Royal Mail postage.

Inside were these lovely surprizes.

I adore the print that Jane chose for the tea cup on the mug rug and the matching tissue holder.  They’re ones I could see choosing for myself.  Notice the lines of quilting done to indicate the steam coming off the tea… how fun is that!

I am, like most Canadians of my aquaintance, a tea drinker and I’ll be trying out the different varieties in the box of tea Jane sent when I have my morning cup.  And the chocolate… well I’m please to say that I did show a bit of restraint.  I’ve only eaten half and will save the other half for a treat tomorrow.

Thank you so much Jane.  I’m just thrilled with everything you sent.

And now to fulfill my part of the Pay It Forward:

 How does it work?

  1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people who opt in to participate in Pay It Forward.   International are welcome to join in.
  2. It will be a surprise and it will arrive when you least expect it….well almost.  I’m bound to need to contact you for your address :).
  3. I will have 365 days to do it in.
  4. To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something to 3 readers of your blog.
  5. It doesn’t have to be quilty – just handmade.
  6. You must have a blog.
  7. Once you receive your “little something”, you must post about your Pay it Forward on your blog to keep the fun going – be sure to use the Pay It Forward badge…and please only opt in of you can commit to keeping it going :).


Posted in Pay It Forward | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

WIP Wednesday – Stockings

Posted by supermom on October 12, 2011

There has been a lot of secret sewing and embroidery happening here.  But those will all have to remain a secret until after my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, a certain December birthday and Christmas.

What I can show you are the fabrics I’ve picked out to make a stocking for the Stocking Drive being held by Lyanna from Purple Panda Quilts.

The fabrics folded at the top are going to be used to make the cuffs of the stockings.

I stopped in to Hancock Fabrics on Monday to take advantage of their holiday 50% off sale on thread, zippers, lace and trim (with an additional 10% the entire purchase coupon) and those fat quarters were temptingly displayed in a basket on the cutting counter.   Two of each print made their way into my shopping basket.

Fabric stockings, especially ones made with Christmas novelty prints, are so quick and easy to sew.   I plan to make at least one for Lyanna’s Stocking Drive and another one or two to have to hand; ready to send off if I come across other such donations opportunities between now and Christmas.

With the leftover fabric from those stockings along with some more from my stash, I also plan to make another QAYG (Quilt-As-You-Go) stocking like this one below that I made for the Stocking Giveaway I’ll be having at the end of November.

I really liked how this stocking turned out and I think a QAYG stocking would be great to add to my box of ready to give gifts.

It doesn’t show in the photo but there is a  slight bulge in that stocking above as I’ve already started to fill it with goodies for the 2011 Stocking Giveaway.  (Click on the button on the right sidebar to find out more.)

The mini mystery giveaway that Robin held when she posted the sign up link is closed but you can still add your name to the list if you would like to hold a Stocking Giveaway on your blog at the end of November.

This post has been added to WIP Wednesday #47 over at Freshly Pieced.

Posted in Gift Ideas, Sew easy projects | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Blog Name – Am I Really a Super Mom?

Posted by supermom on October 8, 2011

Earlier this week, Dawn over at Sweet as Cinnamon invited her readers who have blogs to write a post explaining how they came up with the name for their blog.

I explained how the name of my blog came about in my very first post back on March 12th, 2008.   However, since it’s likely that only my family has been reading my blog that long, I thought I’d copy that post forward for newer readers.

When our oldest was born at little over 23 years ago, I remember looking down at her sweet little face and suddenly feeling completely overwhelmed and unprepared for the task ahead.   But just as quickly, I realized that being overwhelmed wasn’t an option.  That little person was depending on me to figure it out.  So with the loving support of my husband and the advice and guidance from countless mothers who had gone before me, I took on the role of mother; first to one then two and finally three children. 

My being dubbed Super Mom started out as a family in-joke shortly after the movie The Incredibles came out.   I had sorted out some problem one of our children was having and said child remarked, “Super Mom to the rescue!”  To which I replied, “No Capes!”   If you’ve watched the movie, you’ll recognize the reference right away.  If not, watch this….


So to answer the question.  No, I don’t consider myself a Super Mom, in the hero sense of the word.   But over the years, I did strive every day to be the best Mom I could possibly be.  And here in this blog it is my aim to pass along some of what I’ve learned about raising a family and making a home into a haven for them. 

I hope that you will join me by commenting on posts and sharing your own experiences.  By doing so, we’ll all learn from each other and continue the tradition of mothers (and fathers) passing on advice and encouragement to those who are making this journey with us and those who come after.

So that’s how Super Mom – No Cape came to be.   Since that first post, our oldest daughter, now 26, has graduated university with a dual degree in Psychology and Linguistics and is currently living and teaching in Shanghai, China with her partner.

Our middle daughter graduated with a degree in English and is currently working as a Junior Financial Analyst for one of the major international banks.

And our youngest son is in his second year of studying Web Design and Internet Applications.

I’m feeling my way to discovering just who I am now that I’ve transitioned from full-time Mom to Mom adviser, always knowing that they are all the responsible adults we raised them to be and are free to take or leave any advice I might dish out.   It does feel good when they call to ask my advice but it feels equally good when they call just to say hi and catch up on news and to know that they are making their own quite unique way in the world.

Posted in First post | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

German Cooking Week – Schweinefilet im Blatterteig

Posted by supermom on October 7, 2011

The second year we lived in Germany, I took some evening cooking classes where we were taught a selection of the traditional dishes served during the Christmas holidays.  Our instructor told us that her family served Schweinefilet im Blatterteig (Pork Tenderloin in Puff Pastry) on Christmas Day.

Our family always cooks a big turkey for Christmas Day and we weren’t about to break that tradition.  So we decided that year and for all the years after that (until we moved to the States) that this would be the main course for our meal on Christmas Eve.

The first Christmas we lived on Maui, I wasn’t able to find puff pastry in any of the grocery stores.  Our children voted for lasagna instead and ever after, lasagna replaced the Schweinefilet im Blatterteig.

For the final day of German Cooking week on my blog, I decided to dig the recipe out of my recipe box and make it again.

Schweinefilet im Blatterteig

1 lb (500 g) Pork tenderloin

Puff pastry (one sheet)

4 oz ( 115 g) of liver sausage (or liver pate)

1 small can of sliced mushrooms

Parsley, chopped

Defrost the puff pastry according to the directions on the package.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim the silver skin off the tenderloin.

Rub with salt, pepper and curry powder.

Brown the tenderloin well on all sides.

While the tenderloin is browning, roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface.  Spread the liver pate over the pastry.

When I went shopping for this dish, I wasn't able to get liver sausage, so I used this onion and parsley liver pate instead. Since the parsley was already in the pate, I didn't need to add the parsley that is called for in the ingredient list.

Add a layer of the canned sliced mushrooms.

Once the tenderloin is a nice golden brown colour on all sides, place in the center of the pastry.

Wrap the pastry over the tenderloin and seal the edges.

Fold in the ends.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Slice and arrange on a plate ready to serve with your favourite side dishes.

Doesn’t that look delicious!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes I’ve shared during German Cooking Week as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them.

Posted in Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »